Kenya is currently experiencing youth bulge where there are many idle and unemployed youth. Based on UN estimates, the country’s youth population is made up of over 9.5 million people, more than 20 per cent of all Kenyans.
The youth population bulge has proven to be an advantage for many developed nations as they become a major asset because when they find jobs where they can earn a living, their contribution to the economy is felt.
With a closer look at Kenya’s economy for the past two decades, it is evident that even with the fluctuation, the country’s growth rate continues to record a rise. But even as the economic outlook improves, youth unemployment rate has so far not shown any positive development. Underemployment continues to rule and the youth are getting desperate and depressed.
In a move that is expected to improve the unemployment situation in the country, USD 982 Mn has unveiled through public-private partnerships. Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta revealed this during the launch of an the initiative dubbed ‘Young Africa Works’ in Nairobi on Thursday morning.
MasterCard Foundation has disbursed USD 295 Mn. The funds will help the youth access jobs and grow their businesses as part of a joint strategy with the government aimed at benefiting at least five million people for the next five years.
Also part of the USD 982 Mn public-private joint initiative are the Equity Bank Group , KCB Group and their respective foundations which will provide billions in capital and business development services.
“Over the five-year period, MasterCard Foundation will provide USD 98 Mn to KCB Group against their contribution of USD 491 Mn and USD 71 Mn to Equity Group against their contribution of USD 315 Mn,” Mr Kenyatta said.
“Kenya has a vibrant entrepreneurial culture, a strong private sector, and an enabling policy environment. Young Africa Works in Kenya builds on this momentum to prepare and connect young people to opportunities that will grow the economy and transform their lives,” said Reeta Roy, President and CEO of the MasterCard Foundation.
Worthy to mention also, the President condemned the get-rich-quick mentality which he said has led to corruption in the country.”As a country, we need to change our mindset and realise that one cannot get successful overnight.”
The project will also save SMEs the hustle of looking for finances as through it, SMEs will be provided with loans. Notably, the initiative will also provide technical and vocational training through the Ministry of Education. Fresh graduates will also get internship opportunities and apprenticeships through the program.
Featured Image Courtesy: Thomson Reuters Foundation